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Serbia Charges Milosevic With Role in Stambolic Murder - 2003-09-24

Serbia's special prosecutor said he is issuing an indictment against former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. The indictment charges Mr. Milosevic with plotting the murder of a political opponent and with an attempt to kill another adversary.

In a statement to local media, Special Prosecutor Jovan Prijic said he is charging Mr. Milosevic with ordering the killing of former Serbian President Ivan Stambolic.

Mr. Stambolic, who was once Mr. Milosevic's ally, disappeared in August 2000 while jogging in a Belgrade park. His body was found earlier this year in a hilly region of Serbia.

The indictment also accuses Mr. Milosevic of being behind the attempted murder two months earlier of the opposition leader Vuk Draskovic at a Montenegrin sea resort. Mr. Draskovic was also the alleged target of a car crash in October 1999 that killed four of his associates. He suffered only minor injuries.

Besides Mr. Milosevic, the indictment has also named several of his former senior security advisers who were allegedly either involved or organized the killing and assassination attempts.

Among those charged are former special police commander, Milorad Ulemek Legija, ex-State Security Chief, Radomir Markovic, former security adviser, Milorad Bracanovic, and ex-Yugoslav Army Chief of Staff, Nebojsa Pavkovic.

Mr. Milosevic is already being tried at the International Court in The Hague for war crimes he and his government allegedly committed in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo in the 1990s.

It is not expected that Mr. Milosevic will be transferred from his prison in The Hague to Belgrade to stand trial, but Serbian authorities have made it clear they will carry on with the prosecution and trial of the former president and members of his family.